It is a fact that Coffee Boy is an excellent present buyer. He always buys me really great gifts, and I never have to drop any heavy hints. I realise I am very lucky to have such a thoughtful partner but this year I suspect there was a fairly strong ulterior motive to the birthday present he got me: a cupcake making course. I was really pleased that he had not only come up with an original pressie but that he had done his research and found a highly recommended place that offered the course. Having finished my latest project recently I finally got a chance to go along to Cakes 4 Fun in Putney this week.
I didn't really know what to expect. Generally I'm quite happy following a recipe for any kind of cake so I was a bit concerned that he might have wasted his money. But I needn't have worried, the course was brilliant and I learned loads. I arrived about 15 minutes late (thank you London Transport) and when I got into the room the cake mixture was already in the mixer. It was actually something of a relief that the basic bun section was covered so quickly as I thought that watching the "teacher" make what is essentially a big fairy cake for too long would have been a bit Home Economics 1985. Once the mixture was thoroughly mixed we piped (yes piped) it into our cupcake cases and popped them into the oven. Then we got on to the real business of the day - learning to make our cupcakes look beautiful.
We learned to make lovely sparkly butterflies from flower paste; little edible flowers and layered water lillies; a textured hydrangea; and perhaps the most impressive looking decoration, a teddy bear complete with a bow. In the afternoon we learned how to frost our cupcakes with either a fondant icing or buttercream and then we had the fun of decorating them.
The whole day was really great. There were seven of us altogether including a family of four women who had obviously come for a girls' day out. The course leader was a lovely woman called Pen who struck the perfect balance between being informative and authoritative without being too teacherly. By the time our six hours were up we all went home with a large box full of - I thought - brilliantly decorated cupcakes. And they didn't just look good, they were really delicious.
So in the true nature of learning a new skill I came home and spent a small fortune online buying such essentials as muffin tins and cases and a variety of cutting tools to enable me to create some, hopefully, beautiful cupcakes. Well, with Christmas coming up it would be rude not to spread the joy. And let's face it, that was Coffee Boy's intention all along.